Sir Lenny Henry has today launched Let’s Play, the National Theatre‘s major new initiative supporting the development of drama and theatre in primary schools across the country.
Let’s Play commissions exciting new plays with songs and music for children aged 4 to 11 to perform. The programme also provides teachers with high quality training and professional development, designed to inspire creative learning across the curriculum and to enable the school to involve children in all aspects of planning and creating a theatre production – from performing to designing costumes to operating sound.
The National Theatre is aiming to recruit at least 700 schools across the UK to take part in Let’s Play over the next 3 years.
Sir Lenny Henry, a member of the National Theatre’s board of trustees spoke at the launch, “The National Theatre was founded with a mission to educate as well as entertain and many of us working in the arts can remember an experience at school – a theatre visit, an inspiring teacher, meeting a professional artist – as the ignition to their career or enduring passion for the art form. Let’s Play is the perfect scheme to engage primary school children in the artistic process, it’s an essential part of a young person’s creative and artistic education.”
Speaking at the launch Lisa Burger, National Theatre Executive Director, said, “At the National Theatre we believe that all young people wherever they are in the UK should have the chance to see, make and explore theatre as a core part of their education.
“Let’s Play is the National Theatre’s commitment to supporting schools across the country and to developing teachers’ skills to ensure that the arts, including drama and theatre, remain a vital part of school life. Theatre has the power to transforms lives.”
Using a programme of Continued Professional Development and Learning for teachers, specially commissioned plays for children at Key Stage 1 and 2 to perform, and extensive learning resources, Let’s Play aims to inspire learning across the curriculum.
For more information about the scheme, schools can visit the National Theatre website.